Stress

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  • Stress
    • the stress response
      • SHORT TERM
        • hypothalamus activated
          • sends signals to pituitary gland and adrenal medulla
      • Evaluation
        • strengths
          • Fight/flight response can be seen in all mammals in response to threats
          • supported by science
          • measuring stress hormones gives an objective measure of stress
        • weaknesses
          • research on animals - cant be generalized
          • females excluded from experiments - can not be generalized
    • Stress and the immune system
      • when we are stressed, the ability to fight off antigens is reduced, so we are more susceptible to infections
        • occasional release of cortisol does not damage the immune system, but if they are continually released they begin to impair white blood cell activity and the production of antibodies
      • Cohen
        • 394 participants rated themselves on stressful life events to calculate a stress index
          • they were then exposed to the cold virus
            • those with high stress scores, were more likely to become infected
        • volunteer sample - ungeneralisable
        • links not causes
      • Kie-colt Glazer
        • 13 female carers, control group of 13. All had a puncture biopsy
          • wound healing took an average of 9 days longer on the group of 13 carers
        • field experiment - results more generalizable
        • all females - not representative
        • correlation - links not causes
    • life changes and daily hassles
      • life changes = occasional life events incurring big adjustments to lifestyle
        • Holmes and Rahe
          • investigated the effect of life changes
            • list of 43 events, on the Social Readjustment Rating Scale
              • measured as an LCU (life change unit)
                • individuals with a high LCU score were more likely to develop stress related illnesses
                  • score of 300+  classed as major crisis, 80% risk of illnesses like heart attacks, or leukemia
      • Kanner et al
        • studied 100 participants
          • daily hassles correlated with undesirable psychological symptoms, and were a better predictor of illness than life events
    • workplace stress
      • workplace stressors are aspects of the work environment that negatively impact on health
        • including ; workload, predictability, control-ability of work role, environmental factors, and ambiguity
        • Marmot
          • employees with low job control were x3 likelier to have heart attacks, than those with high job control. suggesting low job control negatively impacts on health
        • Russek
          • found medicinal professionals performing high-stress jobs were likelier to develop cardiovascular diseases than individuals in low stress jobs
            • links between stress and heart disease
    • Personality factors
      • Friedman and Rosenman
        • 3500 healthy males answered questions related to impatience, motivation towards success, competitiveness, emotions while under pressure and frustration.
          • high scorers = Type A  Low scorers = Type B
            • 2x as many Type A as Type B personalities developed cardiovascular disorders, which indicates personality factors are linked to vulnerability to developing stress-related illness
      • Kobasa
        • Hardy personality
          • individuals having control over their life, being committed to what they are doing, and perceiving stressors as enjoyable challanges
            • these personality traits results in a reduction in stress related illnesses suggesting hardiness to be healthy
    • Psychological  stress management
      • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
        • stress related illnesses result from irrational, maladaptive thoughts, and tries to replace them with rational, adaptive thoughts
        • Stress Inoculation Therapy (SIT)
          • applied before stress-related disorders develop
          • doubly effective, not only treats current stressors, but also future ones- long term effectiveness
          • motivated and committed for lengthy periods of time
    • Biological stress management
      • drug therapies
        • sometimes used an initial treatment, with psychological treatments used later on
          • Benzodiazapine
            • increase GABA, slowing down neural activity, creating relaxation. reduce effect of serotonin
              • can be come addictive, with withdrawal symptoms
          • Beta-blockers
            • block transmission of nerve impulses, soften physical affects of stress by lowering the force and rate of the heartbeat
              • not effective for long term treatment
              • not not treat cause of stress, only symptoms
              • side effects

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